Of Madras Week and zooming in on insects

A series of photos of insects taken by Venkat, were shown at a session held as part of Madras Week celebrations.

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Shivani Chaturvedi | August 25, 2014 | Chennai



Most of us may find insects repulsive, but for ‘Poochi’ Venkat these creatures are beautiful and vital for a man’s existence.

Exploring the world of macro photography, Venkat got people to zoom in on insects. Venkat’s smallest click so far is a one millimeter fly. So what exactly is macro photography? Does it simply mean a close-up shot or a zoomed-in shot? “No, it means something that you consider small but appears rather large. It may be as insignificant as a thread or a button,” says Venkat.

A series of photos of caterpillars, bugs, butterflies, centipedes, lizards and dragonflies, taken by Venkat were shown across a screen, at a session held as part of Madras Week celebrations. And, all these pictures were shot in the heart of the city. “You don’t have to travel farther away to spot these insects. You can find wildlife in the city, says Venkat.

During the session, participants were also asked to take the task of locating insects.

Usually, Madras Week (a month-long celebration for Chennaites) focuses on the history and architecture of the city. But, Madras Presidency has also contributed a lot to biodiversity. “And, this rich wildlife is in danger. So can we take care of the biodiversity of Chennai in the middle of development that is taking place in the city?” asks Venkat.

S Venkatraman aka Poochi Venkat is known so because of his obsession with insects (poochi in Tamil language). For Venkat, the obsession with insects began in 1992, when he was doing a reprography work for his clients.

“A client wanted me to reproduce pictures of insects. They had a single copy of those pictures and wanted me to make two sets of it. Instead of reproducing pre-existing images, I thought of taking live images. I found it interesting and out of curiosity, I started clicking photos of insects,” he says.

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